Speech - Address by Ms Low Khah Gek, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Technical Education, at MOU Signing Ceremony between ITE and Surbana Jurong, at ITE College West, on 10 May 2021, 3:00pm

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  • Publish date:11 May 2021

Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group Chief Executive Officer, Surbana Jurong

Mr Jason Whitcombe, Group Director, Managed Services

Mr James Chan, Managing Director, Facilities Management

Mr Eugene Seah, Managing Director, Smart City Solutions

Mr Alfred Fox, Chief Executive Officer, AETOS Holdings

Mr James Soh, Executive Director, NYAA Council

Industry Partners

ITE Colleagues and Students

Ladies and Gentlemen


1          The Built Environment is very important, especially so in Singapore.  We live, work and play within this environment. Our physical health, emotional state and mental well-being are influenced by the built environment.

  • If it gets too warm or too cold, we are uncomfortable and irritable.
  • If ventilation is poor, we feel lethargic and breathless.
  • If the lifts and escalators are down, we balk at the thought of having to climb up/down the many flights of stairs.
  • If security is scant, we feel insecure.
  • If the rubbish and waste disposal are not done regularly, we fall sick due to poor quality of hygiene.
  • If the plumbing system falters, we endure the unpleasant pungent  scents.  

2          We have mostly taken for granted the excellent work done by the ‘army’ of people working in the Built Environment sector. In fact, their work was largely invisible and unnoticed until the circuit breaker last year which jolted us to realise the value of their work and how much we owe to them for our physical, emotional and mental well-being.


3          The Built Environment sector comprising construction, real estate, environment services and security industries has been transforming with increasing adoption of new technologies, automation and digitalisation tools. As ITE is in the educational and training business, we pay close attention to jobs and skills. We note that the Built Environment sector employs over half a million employees and there is an increasing need  for higher skills. By 2025, we need to train 20,000 in Building Information Modelling (BIM) / Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD), 35,000 in Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), and 25,000 in Green Building Technology. Moreover there is also the target to make 80% of Singapore’s buildings ‘green’ by 2030. Thus there is much training (PET and CET) to be done in the coming years.


4          ITE is thus very glad to have the partnership and support of Surbana Jurong Group as we train our students to take on jobs and careers in the thriving Built Environment sector. Surbana Jurong is a global urban, infrastructure and managed services consulting firm, with over 70 years of track record in successful project delivery. Your technical experts deliver sustainable solutions that cover the entire project life-cycle from planning and design, through to delivery and management, as well as decommissioning and closure. You play a pivotal role in redefining cities and transforming them into sustainable and liveable spaces where communities and businesses can thrive.


5          It is a privilege for ITE to partner Surbana Jurong in building the pipeline and workforce for the BE sector. Under this MOU, Surbana Jurong will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise and help ITE set up the ITE-Surbana Jurong Living Learning Lab (L3) at each of the ITE Colleges.  These labs would be equipped with real-world industry equipment and systems as well as live data. Hence the term ‘Living Learning Labs’.

  • College East training facility will be equipped with IOT devices to monitor lift performances for diagnostic and predictive maintenance.
  • College West will set up smart CCTV and sensors to illustrate the industry practices of an integrated smart facility maintenance.
  • College Central will explore the use of CCTV footage for video analytics to enhance campus security and management of visitors.


6          All these state-of-the-art equipment and systems would greatly enhance the learning for our students and inspire them to join the sector as they gain a deeper understanding of the job roles and potential career opportunities.


7          Many of the in-service employees in the Built Environment sector will require skills upgrading and re-skilling. ITE and Surbana Jurong will collaborate by co-developing, co-branding and co-delivery of training courses for these adult learners. The offerings will include short Certificate of Competency courses and Work-Study Diploma programmes. 


8          In conclusion, I wish to express, on behalf of all my ITE colleagues and students, that we are very excited with this strategic partnership with Surbana Jurong and we look forward to the collective impact we will make on the existing employees and new pipeline for the Built Environment sector.  Together, we will build and maintain sustainable, liveable and green spaces for all of us to live, work and play happily, productively and healthily.


Thank you.